I still couldn't believe it, really. It just wasn't possible. I'd found a baby gryphon in the middle of the road on which I'd travelled through every night. There simply weren't any gryphons in the surrounding area, I know for a fact! Yet here I was, bringing one home with me... How'd he ever even get out to this location?
I made it home easily enough, and set the child down, lying on the little sofa I had. And I began thinking about the implications of what I was doing.
Would I be accused of kidnapping? What if his parents simply told him to stay where he was until they got back, possibly in pursuit of prey? I asked myself. No. No parent would leave a child unattended like that... As for the kidnapping part.... I didn't know. What do you do when you find a baby in the woods with no parents nearby?
I then realized my most fatal error. Parent. I didn't know the first thing about taking care of a child, let alone one of a different species! I suppose I could take him to an orphanage, but..... Would they know how to take care of one? There weren't any gryphons in Buckston, so the chances that the orphanage would be able to care for a gryphon were slim at best... I mean, I didn't know how orphanages worked, I'd never been in one. Would he even ever be adopted? And how would he be treated there? Gryphons didn't exactly tend to be the most friendly-looking of things.
And if the stories I'd heard were true... He might not be a herbivore.... I remembered. From what I'd been exposed to, what a gryphon can and couldn't eat was all pretty randomized. Some could eat fruit and meat, but not plants. Some ate plants and fruit, but not meat. Some ate nuts and fruit, and meat.... And some ate only meat.... By Celestia, I was dealing with a roulette wheel when it came to feeding him! I'd have to, quite blatantly put, 'figure it out', something that kind of... Sent chills up my spine. How would I know? I suppose he'd spit it out, or throw up, but... Everypony had different taste buds. He was a child, and might spit something out just because he didn't like the taste. I was making a gamble I couldn't win....
But I didn't know anypony else who'd be experienced enough, or with enough free time to take care of the gryphon. So it was a gamble I was going to play. I looked over to him, and.. He wasn't there. Rather, he was at my side, looking at me.
"What is it, little one?" I asked, though I already knew he couldn't understand me. I suppose I'd have to teach him to talk, or get somepony who could. And If that was the case, I suppose I couldn't keep calling him 'the gryphon' or 'little one'. I'd have to give him a name.
He only tilted his head to the side and chirped. Hmmm... I didn't know how to name a gryphon. I didn't know their naming customs, and it would be just strange to give him a pony name. I could name him in the style a pet would be named, but that would be degrading... Well... I could have it changed later, maybe... I suppose.... So, for the meantime, I named him after the little sound he made. Chirp.
And at that, as if just waiting for the right moment, I heard a stomach rumble. And it wasn't mine.
Well, time to play that roulette. I told myself, before looking around to see what... Chirp.. Could eat... Oats were too hard to chew, and bread... I don't know. I had a few apples, but I was afraid he'd choke on something like that. I had some hay, but I was sure he wouldn't like that. Well, I could give it a try, I guessed. There was also my vegetable garden.
So I grabbed some of the hay I'd stored, and lifted it up to Chirps nose... Which, while he did lick up one of the straws tentatively, he... Blew the rest of it into my face.
"What a little trickster, you are." I said, laughing. Well it was clear he didn't want the hay, though he did, for some reason,n keep a straw of it in his mouth. But he wasn't chewing or swallowing it, and when I made a move to get it out, he turned away.
So maybe he likes hay... But not for eating... I noted to myself. Made me able to get two apples on one stem. Could get food for myself, as well as... A toy?... In one package. Huh. Well, I moved on to the vegetable garden, and I plucked a few small cherry tomatoes off the vine. They were small enough to eat, or swallow for him, so I decided that I'd give some to him.
He didn't seem happy with the offer, however, by the angry look in his eyes that I swear was directed at me... Nonetheless he bit at one of the tomatoes, and... Promptly started gagging and spitting it out. I guess he didn't like tomatoes either....
I moved on to the raspberries, blueberries, and rhubarb plants, of which while Chirp liked the raspberries and blueberries, the other... Not so much. Spit them right out. I guess he kinda liked fruits? Though he definitely couldn't live on the blueberries and raspberries, especially at such an early age. I suppose maybe nuts? Or... Maybe meat? I'd have to see...
It was at this point I noticed him sniffing the ground, as if inspecting something.... And.....
Ew.... Chirp just ate a worm! Well... I suppose he was part bird....